Wednesday, October 26, 2011

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Adventures in Diapering Two!

With the recent addition of another sweet bundle of love to our family, I now have two tiny bums in cloth diapers. One bum belongs to my 20 month old son and the other (much tinier) bum belongs to my newborn daughter. I recently blogged about my newfound love for prefold diapers during the newborn stage, born out of many hours of obsessing over online pictures of babies in different kinds of newborn diapers. I’m not gonna lie - it was a fun hobby for a while to research all the brands and options and look at those sweet tiny babies in their little fluffy dipeys... And now the reality hits - I have TWO children. In diapers at the same time. I’m not only outnumbered by munchkins, but their sweet little tushes are constantly creating more laundry!! (I’ve heard once you push past to three or more children, somehow being outnumbered is not that big of deal anymore, but I’m still adjusting!)

So anyways, what is it like having two babies in diapers at the same time? Well, in some ways not that different from having one baby in diapers - only more so. My son is a pretty regular kind of guy...one (enormous) poop a day, usually in the morning (sometimes daddy gets that one before going to work - yay!) and then his wet diapers get changed maybe every 3-4 hours. He’s also getting to the age where he stays dry for longer periods of time. So he’s a pretty easy baby to diaper, aside from the astronomical poos he can generate. Good lord what am I feeding him to cause this?? His baby sister however is still doing the unpredictable newborn thing...and she’s a “sneak-a-pooper” which surprises me, since newborns normally have pretty audible number twos. So she requires much more frequent changing. Between the two of them, I don’t necessarily feel like I change diapers “all day long” but it’s frequent enough to simply be one of those things that is just a part of my life right now. Almost a non-issue, like all those mom things we just say automatically without thinking: “Say please,” “Don’t touch that,” “Shh.”

So while the act of changing the diapers is no biggie, I’m still trying to figure out my laundry system. I’m not washing them together since my toddler’s diapers are (in my opinion) sort of gross between the ammonia stinkies and the knock-your-socks-off poos. I know newborn poop is still poop...but it’s just not as gross. “Milk in, milk out” I always say. Plus, newborn poop doesn’t need to be pre-treated at all, so what goes into the washer is just really different for both of them. So if I wash them separately, do I do them both on the same day, or stagger them? Theoretically, washing them on the same day would make more sense, so that I would have a break day in between wash days. However my son has enough diapers to make it through a three day cycle, and my daughter has barely enough to make it through two. I could wash my son’s diapers on a more frequent schedule, just to keep them together...but I’m still sort of in survival mode here, adjusting to two children, so unless the diaper pail is exploding, I’m not really motivated to wash yet. I’m trying to find a routine where I don’t feel like I’m washing diapers ALL THE TIME, but on the other hand I sort of wonder whether that’s just what happens when you have two children in diapers at once.

But just when I start to feel like, “Hey, this is kind of a lot of work now,” I think about all that lovely money that I’m saving! When I think about how much I could be spending if I fed my baby formula and put both my children in disposable diapers...whew. That would be a very different budget. So I’ll put forward a little more sweat equity for now and try to settle into a new “normal”...whatever that looks like when you’re transitioning to having multiple children! Any veteran moms out there have any tips/suggestions? Leave a comment - we’d all love to hear some been-there-done-that advice!

By Stephanie Gossett

5 comments:

The Younger Rachael said...

I care for a 17 month old most days, and I put her in cloth diapers to help save her mom some money. I've never thought twice about just putting the toddler diapers in the same wash as my exclusively breastfed 5 month old. If the toddler has a poopy diaper, it gets scraped into the toilet and swished in the water, then into the pail. They all get an overnight soak before washing the next morning. but then, I only get 2 or 3 diapers in a day when the toddler is over, so its not much to add to any wash.

By the time we have a second, that child will be using many of the same diapers that son #1 went through, so I don't think I'll feel bad about mixing the various diapers. But I will likely wash more often, just for the wash load.

Rachel Korpella said...

We have four boys, and it's true: the second was a major adjustment for us, but the third was easier and our recent fourth was just white noise. My husband says its like going from "man-to-man" to "zone" defense - not harder necessarily, but you definitely have to change your tactics. :)

Joanna said...

We have 2 in cloth dipes as well: a 23 month old and a 7 month old.
Honestly, even when my 7 month old was on 100% breastmilk I still washed their dipes together. I haven't had any stink issues from doing this. I can't imagine doing 2 different cycles of dipes! (although both DH and I work full time outside the home so really, 2 cycles of dipes is not an option!)

Mini MNM's said...

I had three in diapers at once. My oldest was 15 months when my twins were born. I normally wash them all together, so my situation isn't exactly the same as yours. I do laundry every two days or so, but diaper laundry isn't really something that I stress over so it doesn't matter to me how frequently I do it. Most of the time I wash diapers at the end of the day so I can throw in the dirty diapers from the whole day (and the day before) and get them all clean and drying before I go to bed and then they are clean and dry when I get up in the morning. I like to air dry my diapers as much as I can, so that works for me. If it is the summer, I like to dry them outside in the sun to help sun bleach the stains out and to help make them a little more fresh. Also, they dry faster in the sun than they do indoors. When we are at home I like using prefolds and a snappi sometimes coverless just for the ease and durability of them.
I hope things go well for you! If I can do 3 in diapers, you can do 2! I figured if I was going to change one diaper, what is different than changing three? Just a few more minutes! They save so much money and so much of the environment, I don't know how people don't use them. I try to convert everyone who has kids in diapering age! My oldest is potty trained now and so I only have 2 in diapers, but I am a firm believer that those who wear cloth diapers are easier to potty train because they can feel the wetness.

Mo said...

I have a 2 year old son and a 1 month old daughter. I will be starting her in her CDs this weekend! I too am not sure about my washing routine. As it is, there always seems to be a load in the dryer ready to be put away, clothes or diapers. It scares me to think of adding even more laundry to my day, but at the same time, whats one more load?
I do laundry every day, so that I dont have impossible mountains to deal with. I hope to be able to wash diapers one day, and clothes the next, alternating all week long.